Category Archives: Chefs

For Chefs, Golf Ushers in Summer Fun

Guest columnist Toni Lydecker, author of Seafood alla Siciliana: Recipes and Stories from a Living Tradition, reported on area chefs who practice their strokes on the golf course as well as in the kitchen.

Who knew that chefs hanker for a round of golf after coming off a marathon workweek? Not only chefs but bartenders and other restaurant personnel often head for the links on their day off.  No doubt some do catch up on sleep on their Monday off. But not the high-octane contenders in the first-ever Chef and Bartender Golf Classic organized by Vintage Hudson Valley.

Seventy-six chefs, bartenders and restaurant managers competed at the golf tournament last week at Beekman Country Club, Hopewell Junction, in Westchester.  Most hailed from the Hudson Valley.

Beau MacMillan, an Arizona chef (Elements, in Phoenix) who co-hosts the Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, was among those who traveled the farthest. The event honored Glynwood, which works with Hudson Valley communities to support environmentally sustainable farming.

Here were some other golfing standouts:

  • Chef Jeffrey Rich of Castle on the Hudson nailed the low score.
  • Sally Rich, general manager of Twist in Hyde Park, beamed as she collected her golf bag for longest women’s drive. “It was only my second time out—I couldn’t believe it when the ball just kept going, “ she said.

There were prizes for losers, too. Lee Hillson, sous chef at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa in Phoenix, took home two golf bags—one for highest overall score and the other for highest score on a single hole.

Après golf, the decibel level rose inside the clubhouse as golfers sampled baby vegetables with ramp vinaigrette from Valley at the Garrison, paapdi chaat dished up by Chutney Masala and a passionfruit custard confection from Chiboust.

Fabulous eats all, but as the party broke up, Peter Kelley of Xaviars Restaurant Group was overheard telling some pals, “There’s this place in Port Chester…” It was Monday, after all, and for these back-of-house luminaries, the evening was not even close to over.

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Daniel Boulud Pins Hopes on American Showing in Bocuse d’Or Cooking Competition

It’s “the hardest cooking competition in the world, ” said Gavin Kaysen, who placed sixth as the US contender in the 2007 Bocuse d’Or cooking competition that’s been dubbed the Culinary Olympics.

Paul Bocuse, Lea Linster, and Jerome Bocuse at US finals 2008. Photo: courtesy Bocuse d’Or USA.

Paul Bocuse, Lea Linster, and Jerome Bocuse at US finals 2008. Photo: courtesy Bocuse d’Or USA.

Twelve US teams, each composed of a chef and an assistant, were announced at a press conference at Restaurant Daniel in New York on Monday. The winner of a February  semi-final will face teams from 24 other countries at the Bocuse d’Or international competition to be held in Lyon, France in January 2011.

Despite the word stage on which competitors’ culinary talent will be displayed, the US teams were culled from a decidedly non-Olympic-sized applicant pool–only 17 young chefs applied.

It’s “more than we thought we would get,” said Daniel Boulud in announcing the US contenders.

The American teams will face off at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park the weekend of Feb. 5. and 6.  Prep time is on Friday. On Saturday, teams will cycle through a stadium kitchen designed to mimic the Lyon set-up. There, they’ll prepare lamb and salmon—the same two foods that will be cooked in Lyon. With the CIA event open to the public, organizers hope that the audience replicates the ferocious noise level that heats up the stadium in Lyon.

“The noise level is like an NFL game,” said Jerome Bocuse, son of the legendary chef, Paul Bocuse.

Why the paltry pool of applicants for such a prestigious cooking competition?

One reason may be the time and cost involved. Kaysen said he spent $250,00 to compete in 2007.

“You sacrifice everything,” he said.  “You had to stop everything you were doing.”

Boulud conceded that Kaysen might not have received the same level of support as other countries’ candidates. But this year, contenders won’t have to fend for themselves entirely.  The goal?  To be “as competitive as Norway,” Boulud said. Once a US team is chosen to go to Lyon, they’ll be trained intensively.  And the Bocuse d’Or Foundation will pick up the tab.

Hopes are running high for Team USA to wind up on the winner’s podium.

“We used to be the Jamaican bobsled team,” said Kaysen. “Now we’re not.”

Following are the dozen US semi-finalists:

1.                      Luke Bergman, The Modern, New York, NY

2.                      Danny Cerqueda, Carolina Country Club, Raleigh, NC

3.                      Michael Clauss, Daily Planet , Burlington, VT

4.                      Kevin Gillespie, Woodfire Grill, Atlanta, GA

5.                      James Kent, Eleven Madison Park, New York, NY

6.                      Mark Liberman, Roxy’s Black Sheep, West Palm Beach, FL

7.                      Christopher Parsons, Catch, Winchester, MA

8.                      Jennifer Petrusky, Charlie Trotter’s, Chicago, IL

9.                      John Rellah, New York Yacht Club, New York, NY

10.                    Jeremie Tomczak, French Culinary Institute, New York, NY

11.                    Andrew Weiss, The Chef’s Workshop, Las Vegas, NV

12.                    Percy Whatley, The Ahwahanee, Yosemite, CA

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New York Fall Food Events, Part I: What’s Coming up This Weekend


Video: GoodNewsBroadcast

In the Fall, food events abound in New York. It’s a great time to do some sampling and watch chefs at work.

Worried about consuming all those calories? Take a long walk in Riverside Park or bike down the Greenway. The following weekend food event roundup is Part 1 of a three part series. Coming up: a look ahead to October and November food happenings.

Oct. 2-17. Switch from burgers to wursts at the Shacktoberfest. The German sausages and such include currywursts, polish sausages, braised red cabbage and a concrete that mimics German chocolate cake. If you crave something stronger, there’s Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale and Bluepoint Oktoberfest. At the Upper West Side Shack, on the corner of Columbus Avenue and 79th Street, and at the Madison Square Park Shack location. 11 AM to 11 PM, 7 days a week. www.shakeshacknyc.com. (Via Serious Eats)

October 3-4. This event is sold out, but it’s worth noting for next year. New York Magazine and the French Culinary Institute are putting on the second annual New York Culinary Experience. For the all-inclusive price of $1,395, there are master classes and cooking demos with more than 30 chefs, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jacques Torres, Jacques Pépin, and Iron Chef Morimoto. http://nymag.com/nyce/ (Via Grub Street)

Oct 3. If you’re a lover of bivalves, then head for the Grand Central Oyster Frenzy at the Grand Central Oyster Bar
. Oysters start at $2 apiece, and beer at $5.75. A special “Frenzy Menu” is priced à la carte.
 Top Chef alum Fabio Trabocchi will do a demo. Noon to 6 p.m. www.oysterbarny.com/ (Via Grub Street)

Oct. 3. Chile Pepper Fiesta
 The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is holding a Chile Pepper Fiesta where Corwin Kave of Fatty Crab and other chefs will demonstrate how to use chile peppers. Sample goodies and listen to music. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, and free for children under 1. http://www.bbg.org/vis2/2009/chilepepperfiesta/.

October 3. NYC coffee roaster, Dallis Coffee, and NYC coffee consultant, TampTamp Inc., will host a special Slow U seminar on coffee. 

Learn from these NYC coffee experts, Anne Nylander, of TampTamp, and Teresa von Fuchs, of Dallis, how coffee is grown, sourced, and processed while delving into the social, political, and economic complexities of the global coffee trade. Samples offered.  Think Coffee, 248 Mercer St, (btwn. 3rd and 4th Sts.), Manhattan. 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. 

Tickets: Slow Food Members – $20 / Non-members – $25 

Tickets Available ONLY on-line at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/82412

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From Lukins to Bacon: How Food Has Changed Since the 1980s

Photo: By Adam & Jessica via Flickr.

Photo: By Adam & Jessica via Flickr.

The death of Sheila Lukins, the cookbook author and one-time Upper West Side gourmet food shop owner last week, prompted an outpouring of memories about foodways in the 1980s.  Kim Severson of the Times wrote a charming essay in this Sunday’s paper about how Lukins’ chicken Marbella was a dinner party staple of that decade.  Severson then goes on to document the changes that have taken place at the dinner table since then.  Among them: now, bacon, not chicken, reigns supreme.

Enjoy and Happy Labor Day!

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Greenmarket Tours with Butter and Savoy Chefs Slated for September

If you want a glimpse of how chefs buy at the Greenmarket, these two farm-to-table tours with Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter and Peter Hoffman of Savoy may be just the ticket.  Afterward, you get to eat a meal at each chef’s restaurant prepared from what they’ve gathered at the market that day. Here are the details for these two events:







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